The Not-So-Impending Birthday Blues

DW10Birthdaycard

My birthday is in three days.

((wince))

Ever since my 30th birthday, back in two-thousand and something or other, I’ve had a sort of distant, disinterested relationship with the celebration of my birth.  Honestly, there are a few people who chose to ruin the day versus letting it pass and ruining the following day, so after a few slights, I stopped looking forward to them.

They haven’t all been bad though.

And the last year, despite some rough spots, was pretty good overall, and even though the number associated with this year’s birthday is a strange number to admit to (like, I can’t really be this old, right?!), I’ve realized a few things that really only come with age.

  1. I don’t care if everyone likes me.
    • It used to bother me if I learned there was someone who didn’t like me.  Why? Because I’m a sweet princess, and what’s not to like? 😉  Then it was my goal to make them like me. That was then.  This is now.  There’s a woman at work, who thankfully, I don’t see very often.  She likes to be nice to my face and then talk a whole lotta nonsense behind my back.  And I’m not her only target.  She’s about 50, and I find this kind of behavior juvenile.  I say good morning when I see her, half the time she ignores me.  Fine.  Whatever.  I’m not going to stop being nice because she’s clearly petty and jealous.  Before I would have gone out of my way to win her favor, and now, I’ve realized some people just don’t deserve that kind of attention.  It’s a waste of my time, which is precious the older I get, and the refreshing thing is, it really doesn’t bother me.  What an odd thing to discover.
  2. I’m comfortable in my own skin.
    • While I feel I have a few pounds to shave off – I mean, almost everyone I know feels this way – I’m comfortable with who I am.  I’m 6′ tall, and I’m currently about 170 lbs.  Even when I was working out last year fairly consistently, the scale didn’t change.  Of course the distribution did, but I realized, like my age, it’s just a number.  I’ll never get back to my high school volleyball playing days, and I’ve accepted that.  Am I still holding on to that one pair of pants I’m striving to fit back into?  Uh, yeah.  Everyone woman I know has that pair, but I think we’re all hanging on to them out of some twisted sense of nostalgia.
  3. I let my geek flag fly.
    • I don’t think I was ever embarrassed to admit the nerdy or geeky things I liked as a kid (kids are fairly shameless, after all), but as with the natural progression from child to teen, the desire to fit in with the people whose opinions wouldn’t matter the moment we took that first step in the graduation processional seemed rather important in those early days.  Then geek became cool, a sort of badge of honor, and joining a fandom became an open door to making the kind of friends who not only understand you, but are the kind of friends you make for life.  Star Wars aside, saying you play video games or want to cosplay will draw out the kind of people you want to know.  Well, that is, if that’s your cup of tea.  I proudly admit to writing fan fiction and getting a geek tattoo with The Sis, and because I’m comfortable in my own skin and I don’t care what people think, I’m not embarrassed to admit to much anymore.
  4. I’m happy on my own.
    • I always thought, and intended, to get married and have a family.  It’s what you’re “supposed” to do.  But I was never fond of the whole dating thing.  And the older I got, the less inclined I was to follow in such a tradition.  Then, when I was about thirty, the man I was dating at the time, yes, one in the same who ruined my birthday, and I had a pregnancy scare.  As the title of my blog suggests, I have a terrible memory, but I remember that moment clearly, as if it happened last week. 😉  It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least.  I was turned
      off to the whole relationship idea for years after; he was not a nice human being.  And then I got to a point where I had built a life I enjoyed, and knew it would take a special kind of person for me to want to mHiddles Bdayake room for them, and as of this post, I have yet to meet such a one.  (Except you, Hiddles.  I’d give up…hmm…well, we’ll have to talk about it. ;P)  Besides, two of my beloved icons, Elizabeth I and Jane Austen, never married.  Everyone still wants to set me up, but it’s nice that the stigma of the “spinster” has gone out the window and people accept me for the happy single I am.

So what does all this rambling mean?

Getting older has its benefits, and it’s a gift not afforded to everyone.

So, I’m not not looking forward to my birthday this year, in fact, I think I’ll do my best to embrace it.  There’s a lot to look forward to because I have BIG plans this year!

Ramble over.

xx, Rach

p.s. Thanks for being along for the journey!

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Rambling Review – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

*Spoiler free review ahead.

Witcher 3

This “more than just a piece of eye candy” is Geralt of Rivia.  Swoon.  He’s from a fantasy land where once upon a time, a conjunction split the veil between worlds, allowing mystical creatures to spill into his.  In an effort to battle the “forces of evil”, the Witchers were created by terrible means, Geralt among them.

This 2015 Game of the Year winner has all the facets of well, everything, not just gaming, I’m drawn to – Medieval-like fantasy world, old world order of potential do-gooders, magic, sweeping backdrops with a rich, layered history – it was without fail that this would become my new favorite thing.

I was nearing the end of my first playthrough when for Christmas this year, The Sis bought me a series of books, and that’s when I learned a bit of the history of The Witcher.  I had no idea the game was based on novels by fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski.  The first book, The Last Wish was published in 1993.  That’s a long time to be clueless about something I was destined to love.  There are currently eight books in the series, three games, a failed Polish movie and tv series, and a new show by Netflix was just announced.  Now that could prove interesting as everyone is on the hunt for the next Game of Thrones-like series.

I started the game completely oblivious to the storyline as I had not played the previous two.  Not the best idea when the world you’re walking into is already so established.  Maybe it was because of this, I felt a bit of disconnect initially from Geralt.  I didn’t know who he was, where he had been, or why people hated him because he was a Witcher.  His purpose seemed like a good one.

There was war brewing on all fronts and with monsters running amok, no one seemed concerned with the other impending threat, the Wild Hunt.  Frightening, almost unstoppable warriors with skeletal armor from another world, the Wild Hunt appears with a frost that dramatically affects the world around them.  And these “things” were chasing after my (Geralt’s) ward-like daughter, Ciri.Ciri

The beautiful girl with an interesting background and the voice of a Dragon Age character (Hawke from DA2) immediately became my concern (and I do mean mine).  And that became the true purpose of the game – find and protect Ciri.

I had to force myself to play the game the first few times, which did not thrill me because I had been so excited to play after watching a trailer.  This one, specifically: (*Be forewarned that this includes content not suitable for all ages.)

After those initial attempts, I decided to just follow the main storyline objective and things became more clear.  I was still a bit lost when it came to matters of politics and the hatred towards witches and non-humans, but the further I delved into this world, the easier it became to navigate, and then suddenly, I was in love.

The game is beautiful and expansive.  Cut scenes are cinematic, and there are a lot of them.  Many times I felt like I was in a movie that I was lucky enough to be able to move around in.

*Helpful hint: Unlike some games, you can not put the controller down and walk away during conversations.  Often times there are timed responses, so you don’t want to lose out on that choice.

There were a number of comments made by people in-game who thought they knew who Geralt was.  I chose to make him more kind, almost out of spite because no one was going to talk about my boy like that in front of me and get away with it.  Also, in part because I always play the “nice guy” when morality meters are involved.  Sometimes we chose to fight, but sometimes we were merciful, giving our enemies reason to pause.  The more I played, the more I liked him.  The mutagens given to him as a boy to make him a Witcher made his hair turn white and stripped him of his outward emotion, but he has a good sense of humor, is loyal, and cares deeply.

As the game progressed, I learned why people both liked and feared him.  Witchers are considered freaks themselves, unnatural.  As a hired monster slayer known as the White Wolf, not only is he a fearsome warrior with a bloody reputation, he’s also known as being quite the womanizer.  There are a few women to romance in the game, and Geralt, looking the way he does and having women throwing themselves at him took each opportunity.  Although to be honest, I’m not sure how likely this all would have been back in 2007.  Thank the advances of technology!

Geralt's Gaming Versions

Helpful tip: Romancing multiple characters can bite you in the a** if you’re not careful. 

The witch in the trailer is Yennefer, Geralt’s long time, on again-off again lover. Triss She’s powerful and self-assured with a biting wit, and it’s easy to see why she and Geralt are continually drawn back to one another.  While she aligns herself with powerful allies, like kings and emperors, the adorable and sweet Triss Merigold is helping witches escape the fires as hunters close in.

There’s history with each of these women, and more of their pasts are divulged as the game continues, making it understandable why Geralt, and I, had a hard time choosing. 😉

There’s a great deal to discuss with this game.  There are many facets and intricate details that made this game so mesmerizing and engaging, but I will draw my rambling review to a close.  Perhaps in the near future I will post a Witcher Review: Part II.

Like Dragon Age, where your character’s decisions influence the world around you, I failed on occasion to complete certain side quests in a timely fashion and that ended up shaping the world for the better or worse (Eh, it was my first playthrough after all, and it’s all a learning curve.), but because of the immersive quality, this is a game that has definite replayability.  It’s a word.

If you enjoy the fantasy trope RPG, this will, without a doubt, speak to you…as it did me.  By far, one of the best games I’ve played.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It’s up near Dragon Age.  And now that I have a few books at my disposal, let the new obsession begin.

 

5stars

So, I’m smitten.  How about you, fellow gamers?  Have you played?  Let’s discuss!

Writing Prompt #107

It’s Writing Prompt Day!

In the continuing theme of inspiration, I offer you this:

Dark Forest, England

It is my goal to go back to previous prompts and start writing flash fictions again, so why don’t you join me? 😉 Be sure to link your creations in the comments or on your own page so we can all admire them!

Happy Writing!

Quote of the Week for a New Year

Happy 2018, my friends!

It seems that I’ve had to “get back on track” a lot lately.  So, in (yet another) effort to do this, I’m going to start of this new year off right with one of my favorite quotes in the hopes that it will inspire.DoSomethingTodayEach step in the right direction, no matter how big or small, will draw us closer to where we want to be.

Wishing you a wonderful and productive New Year!  xx, Rach

 

The Passing of Another Year

goodbyeGoodbye, 2017.

You were among my favorites of the past decade, and although I will be sad to see you go, I’m looking forward to what the new you will bring.  Each new year is like a new Doctor (from Doctor Who) – same old thing under a new coat of paint.

I didn’t accomplish all the goals I set for myself (I didn’t even come close with some of them), but that just means I’ll have to reevaluate them for the new year.  As I’ve mentioned a time or two before, I don’t care for resolutions.  I’ve set a number of goals throughout the year and made more headway because I believe you can make changes, reach for your dreams, and achieve anything you want any time of the year.

The mark of a new year only makes the goal setting easier as a jumping off point.

I like to start a new year doing something I enjoy as a way of marking the occasion in positive manner.  I have to work tonight, but it’s my plan to come home and write, even if just for a little while.

You may laugh, seeing that my blog has been so ignored these past few months, but I have been writing, I swear.  Cullen&WardenClick here to see how my Dragon Age obsession is working its magic. 😉  This is a non-canonical story that I didn’t even plot out and it’s currently sitting at 31k words.  Seriously.  And what’s worse (or not) is that I’m probably only about half way done.  ((giggles wildly))  It’s all this picture’s fault, by the way. –>

I had planned on doing a “looking back” post, but Facebook is great at reminding us of where we were a year or seven ago, and a new year is about looking forward.  It’s nice to be reminded of our victories and our defeats as they can compel us to strive for better, for more, and we shouldn’t forget them, but we shouldn’t linger on them either.  Unlike the Doctor, we can’t go back in time and change events, and really, all those little things, good and bad, make us who we are with our own unique perspective.

I try to be positive here, and although my Quote Mondays have been rather sparse, most of them are about chasing your dreams, making each day count, blah blah blah, etc.. but I mean each and every one. 😉 Each new day is an opportunity, and a new year offers us a bigger canvas.  So make big goals, the kind that would make you laugh were you to accomplish them.  Make little ones that will help you get closer to that big one.

Just keep dreaming!  Keep reaching!

So, hello, 2018!
Hello

I hope you’re a good one!

Happy New Year, my friends!

Have fun and be safe and see you next year!

xx, Rach

Writing Prompt #106

Yes.  It’s true.  Your eyes do not deceive you.

Two posts in two days.

It’s Wednesday, and while I know it’s been some time, Wednesdays equal Writing Prompt Days!  Remember? 😉  This one made me giggle.

GiveMeAMinute

I see a couple of people bracing against a door with an incoming horde threatening to overwhelm them.  I’m not sure why, but as we know, our minds are unusual things.

So, are you feeling inspired?  Please be sure to share your work so we can all enjoy!

Happy Writing!

Quote Monday on a Tuesday

Well, hello!

I’m not going to make excuses for how absent I’ve been here.  I mean I could mention how busy work has been now that I’ve been promoted, and how my days off were scattered and inconsistent.  I could mention how it’s time for yet another move and all the stress and prep that goes into that…but I won’t.

Times flies whether you’re having fun or not, and suddenly it’s the middle of October and you’re feeling a bit concerned because of how little you have to show considering nearly another year has passed.  I had such big plans at the beginning of the year too.

The only way to get back on track and refocus my attention is by getting back to the routine I once cherished and held dear.  Sooo, let’s get back to one of my favorite things, quotes!

OneDayOrDayOne

I have to find a way of reconciling my new schedule.  I must find a balance between the day job, the dream job, and everything else.  I’ve said “one day” more often than I’d like to admit recently, and I don’t care for how it feels.

How have you balanced your life and found time to do the thing you love?

A Ramble, Because Sometimes It’s What We Need To Do

Here we are again, another silent month has passed by.

About a month ago I went on my first vacation since…honestly, I can’t remember when.  I should be able to remember a vacation, even with my faulty memory, so clearly it’s been too long.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t so much a vacation as an excuse to visit our old stomping grounds and eat.  Our family just happens to live there as well. 😉

Metallica

The whole reason, initially, for the trip was the Avenged Sevenfold and Metallica concert. Trying to squeeze too much in before leaving town caused us to be late, and an hour and a half to park caused us to miss Avenged all together.  How utterly disappointing.  The Sis had never seen Metallica, so at least there was that.

There was lots of sleeping, eating, laughing, and general relaxation.  All much needed.

Then there was Disneyland.  Oh, my happy place.  The first year The Sis and I arrived in Los Angeles we got passes and utilized them to the fullest.  I’d say, without exaggeration, we visited the parks or just Downtown Disney once a week, every week, for the whole year.  After we rescued our furkids, Disneyland became a distant memory.  Five years.  That’s a long time to go without.

Highlights of the day:

1) Getting massively soaked on the Grizzly River Run water ride and having to walk around for hours with clingy jeans.  Ew.

2) Shaking after riding the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride, which used to be the Tower of Terror.  I knew what I was getting into, and yet, I rode it again.  It’s sort of a blur because I was screaming like a loon and clenching onto whatever was in reach for dear life, i.e. my brother’s pant leg.

3) Having cocktails like grown-ups in Disneyland because it always makes me feel like I’m misbehaving.

4) Running into Thor and having him admonish me for “wearing the wrong tunic”.  I’m a Cap girl. 😉

5) Watching my brother’s girlfriend dance along side one of the hotrods from Cars only to be told to stop.  Ha!

6) Waiting for an unreasonable amount of time to meet Captain America because the cast members were excited to learn I have a Cap shield as part of my geek tattoo and encouraged me to take a picture.  He was adorable and stayed in character which allowed me to live out a minor fantasy. 😉 I met Steve Rogers!!

Non-highlight of the whole trip…having my car broken into and our bags stolen.  When I

went out to the car in the morning to load up more stuff, I stared at the window in doe-eyed wonder.  It didn’t register what had happened for like 12.7 seconds. Yes, thankfully it was only material things, but unfortunately, many of those items were irreplaceable.  Andthe kicker, of course my insurance didn’t cover anything, even the windows.  It left me depressed for about aweek.  I don’t spend a lot of money on myself, and so the things I lost had taken years to accumulate, and in an instant it was all gone*, including my new prescription glasses that I bought without insurance.  Slight upon slight.  (*This was before Harvey, you know, to give you some perspective.)

When we returned home, we had the annual crazy adventure known as Gishwhes. Unfortunately, our state of mind did not allow us to dig in and accomplish as much as we normally do.  With the knowledge that this may be the last hunt ever, we were disappointed that we couldn’t contribute more.

But…

On a positive note, upon returning to work I was offered a promotion.  I’m now an assistant manager at a job I like.  And because my new friends/coworkers felt so bad about what happened, they took up a small collection to help offset some of the cost to replace those stolen goods.  I cried.

So that was the first two weeks of August, the other two…huh.  What have I been doing?!  I’ve been working weird shifts, I’ve been cooking more, and there’s been lots of Game of Thrones, but two more weeks have passed in a blur.  I guess time flies whether you’re having fun or not. 😉

As for my writing, I’ve barely written a word.  I’m trying to find balance on this new path, and find a new story to be passionate about – something that drives me to “want” to sit at my computer after staring at one at work during the day.  Yes, I know, I’m supposed to show up with or without my muse, but right now I’m not even sure what story to tell.  It sort of sounds bad to say this out loud, but I kind of want to write some new fan fiction.  Any writing is good writing, right?

I hope you’ve all been well!  I’ve missed you!